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True Path Party
|Doğru Yol Partisi|
(The True Path Party)
|Current Leader:||Mehmet Ağar|
|Headquarters:|| Çetin Emeç Bulvarı 117|
Balgat - Ankara, TURKEY
|Political Ideology:||conservative, moderate|
|Seats in Parliament:||4/549|
|Website:||True Path Party|
The True Path Party (Turkish: Dogru Yol Partisi or DYP) is a right-wing, secularist conservative Turkish political party, established by Suleyman Demirel in 1983. It succeeded the Democrat Party and the Justice Party - two parties with similar ideologies which were closed as a result of military intervention.
There have been four DYP governments since its foundation; one led by Demirel, the other three by Turkey's first woman prime minister, Tansu Çiller. The party now has only 4 seats in parliament after fared badly in recent elections, when many voters deferred to the similarly-conservative, albeit also moderate Islamist, Justice and Development Party (AKP). The party's logo is a horse upon a red background.
The DYP is seen as a right-wing, conservative party - similar to the American Republican Party. It has on occasion been compared to the Justice and Development Party (AKP in terms of similar conservative structures, although each party comes from backgrounds considerably different from the other. The DYP's history spans back to the Democrat Party, established in 1946 with the introduction of a multi-party system in Turkish politics, whereas the AKP broke off as the more moderate wing of the disbanded the Virtue Party .
The DYP's predecessor was the Democrat Party (DP), which was a conservative and moderate Islamist party responsible for relaxing Turkey's strict secularism laws. The party was closed down in the 1960 military intervention and later reopened as the Justice Party (AP), which was disbanded in coup of 1980.
Both parties staunchly rivalled the more socialist-leaning Republican People's Party (CHP). The military has overthrown their governments on several occasions: in 1960, the Adnan Menderes government was deposed and Menderes himself was executed; on March 26, 1971, the government of party vetern Suleyman Demirel was threatened with military intervention and forced to resign; and on September 12, 1980 the military carried out a full-scale coup, disbanding all political parties, including Demirel's AP.
In 1983, Demirel created the True Path Party (Dogru Yol Partisi, DYP), the antecedent of the AP - still conservative, but now with a secular agenda. Even so - the military and conservative governments banned the new party, and the DYP was declared illegal and its members persecuted. Finally, in 1987, after things died down, the party was legalized, and entered Turkish politics for the first time. It was hugely successful.
In the 1991 general elections, the DYP defeated the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the CHP, winning an absolute majority in the Parliament, making Suleyman Demirel prime minister once again. In 1993, the DYP won once more. Demirel had already been elected Turkey's 9th President, and his party was now led by Tansu Çiller, who became the country's first woman prime minister.
In 1996, the DYP lost the election to the ANAP led by Mesut Yılmaz, who formed a coalition with the DYP. The conservative coalition broke down in 1998, and that same year, the DYP took a turn for the worse.
The DYP secured 9.55% of the vote in the November 2002 general election, just short of the 10% barrier required to enter parliament. However, a number of independents have since joined the party, and they currently (as of November 2004) have 4 seats in Turkey's 549-seat parliament. The figure hardly makes the DYP a driving force in Turkish politics, but it remains Turkey's third-largest party and particularly influential in rural areas.
Tansu Çiller resigned as party leader following the 2002 election defeat, eventually being replaced by Mehmet Ağar .
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